18.0 km Marker


Reeds · Roseaux · Wiimbashk

Phragmites grow to immense heights. Photo: Invasive Species Centre

Phragmites (pronounced frag-mi-teez), also known as European common reed, is a perennial wetland grass that comes from Europe and is a big threat to Ontario’s biodiversity. Although it can be confused with a native reed, the invasive reed can compete with native plants for water and nutrients. Phragmites can be found in both dry and wet areas like wetlands or road ditches. You can identify invasive phragmites by their immense height (up to six meters tall!), how dense it grows and its large dense seedheads.

Challenge Yourself!

  • Test your knowledge

  • True or False

    Seeds that stick to your boots can spread to new areas, creating new plants.

  • True or False 2

    Phragmites can cause a fire hazard, be a road safety hazard and impact recreational activities such as swimming or boating.

  • True or False 3

    Invasive phragmites grow in dense stands, crowd out other plants, and have tan or beige stems with blue-green leaves.

  • True or False 4

    Native phragmites grow with other plants and have reddish-brown stems with yellow-green leaves.

  • You did great!

Can you pick out areas where phragmites may grow? Look around water bodies or roadside ditches. Compare your own height to one growing nearby.